Well, not completely. I am a bit amused that I can work up to a brisk, steady clip on the treadmill in my office building’s mini-gym with no limp, then limp as I’m walking to my office. I think it’s partly that I am usually walking a bit slower when I’m off the treadmill…and that the treadmill is level. I used to think of sidewalks and streets as level, but now I realize I was wrong. The slope is gradual, but it’s there.
(BTW: I am going to talk about exercising here, if you don’t want to read it then you should stop … about … now … )
One thing that I forget is that exercising can feel good. Or maybe it’s that having exercised can feel good? As Kate memorably put it at Shapely Prose,
[T]he only, only reason to exercise was to lose weight. Sure, plenty of people gave lip service to the idea of exercising “for your health,” but what that meant was “to lose weight.” Fat was bad and unhealthy. Exercise made it go away. That. Was. All.
So if I exercised and didn‘t lose weight, there was no goddamned point, obviously.
That was my view of exercise when I was growing up and most of my twenties. Even activities I enjoyed on their own, like weightlifting or swimming? I didn’t lose weight, and therefore they were a waste of time.
Right now I’m exercising to improve and maintain my knee function, but walking at the steady, regular speed that works for physical therapy-type-reasons also gets me breathing hard, warms my muscles overall, wakes me up, and gives me a bit of a happy. This doesn’t mean that I always feel good, or that I felt good right away or that I didn’t give a mental groan when I realized I’d left the iPod in the car.
But it did feel good to walk without limping, which I was doing after about a minute on the treadmill. I felt better after I’d warmed up. I stopped after 10 minutes, because that’s what I can do comfortably right now, and pretending otherwise isn’t a good idea. I’ve gotten up and walked around the office about once an hour. I’ve noticed that I’ve limped less during the rest of the morning. These, I think, are good things for me to notice and remember, so that tomorrow I’ll be more likely to get up and stretch and get to work in time to use the treadmill! :)
(Yes, I do have a longer-term plan of working back up to 30-minute walks and so forth. But I find the short-term rewards impact me more day-to-day, so I’m focusing on that right now.)